No problem, I thought. I’ll just spend the next hour and a half doing positive self-talk, telling myself how awesome this week will be! That had to be a good way to spend a Monday morning, right?
It was going fine. It wasn’t too hot, I felt strong. The first three miles weren’t too bad. Then I took a corner at First and Nees, my foot caught a sprinkler head and down I went, completely. I tried to break my fall, but I went all the way to the concrete.
My immediate reaction was, “Get up! Get off the sidewalk!” The last thing I wanted was for any concerned motorists who witnessed my tumble to get out of their cars to check on me. I brushed myself off, didn’t feel any pain, mostly embarrassment, so I kept going.
That’s the most important thing, getting back up after you stumble. Keep moving forward. It took me a little longer than I had planned, but I finished my 8-mile run. Yes, some pain has come later, as my muscles stiffen up post-run. But I finished, dammit!
The good thing is the more you fall, the better you get at it. You learn to roll with it, to land better.
I have experience at this, the falling down thing.
The night before my first marathon, I sprained my ankle WALKING TO DINNER. I ran my marathon anyway, and only missed my goal by 8 minutes.
My second marathon, I was the LAST recorded finisher to cross the finish line. But I finished.
I hiked up a mountain that I had no earthly reason to think that I should have been able to summit. But I did.
I’ve been married. That hasn’t worked out for me so far. But it hasn’t caused me to give up on love.
You just get back up, brush yourself off, keep moving forward. It’s not always the easiest thing to do. But it gets easier, the more you do it.
And if you surround yourself with positive friends and family, they help you get through the times when the hardest thing in the world is to keep going. They push you to get out of bed, get off the sidewalk, get out of your comfort zone.
And ultimately, each of us also has that power inside ourselves. Don’t be afraid to fall or fail. Just learn to land better. Get good at bouncing.
Get up. Get off the sidewalk. And go toward your future.
“Life is not about how fast you run or how high you climb but how well you bounce.” ~ Vivian Komori